Community First Grant Program

Over the past few months, we’ve seen the organizations we have the honor of working with through the Community First Grant Program start to be recognized for the essential workers that they are, and we’ve been inspired by the ways many grant partners adapted so quickly to these challenging times that have exacerbated longstanding inequities in access to healthy food.

Because of your deep community participation, we have been able to support 137 organizations since 2016, and your dedication to fresh, healthy food access for all is what keeps this program going today. Thank you!

2020 Community First Grant Team Member Info

After a lot of consideration and generous feedback from Team Members (thank you for completing our survey!), we have decided to adapt the program for 2020. We will not have a Team Member nomination round this year, and instead we will invite all 137 current and previous Community First Grant (CFG) partners to apply for grants of $8,000. During this challenging time, this will allow Team Members to focus on urgent matters, while ensuring that the organizations Team Members champion continue to receive opportunities for funding. 

Read on to learn more about how the program will run this year or download the FAQ here.

If you're a Whole Foods Market Team Member who wants to stay up to date on the latest news from Whole Cities, sign up for The Beet.

 

What is the Community First Grant Program?

The Community First Grant Program is an initiative designed to support Whole Foods Market (WFM) Team Members (TM) in the U.S. and Canada who are engaged with community partners increasing access to fresh, healthy food and nutrition education in neighborhoods with few options.

What is a “community partner”?

A community partner is a non-profit organization that is led by community members in your city. A community partner understands the assets, needs, and goals of local residents and uses this knowledge to direct and shape its work.

What changes have been made to the 2020 Community First grant program?

With all of the urgent priorities for stores and Team Members during the pandemic and recent protests for racial justice, we have decided to forego the TM nomination portion of the CFG program and invite all 137 current and previous CFG partners to apply for $8,000 grants. This will allow TMs to focus on urgent matters, while ensuring that the organizations TMs champion continue to receive an opportunity for funding.

How many partners will receive grants in 2020?

We anticipate funding 30-40 organizations with grants of about $8,000 each this year. In January 2020, we made the decision to increase the grant amount from $5,000 per organization to make deeper investments and build stronger relationships with exceptionally aligned organizations and refocus on our mission of funding locally led, community support efforts.

What is the 2020 CFG timeline?

Please note that the dates below are subject to change.

• Community Partners invited to apply from June 22– July 22

• WFM Team Member Review Panel to begin around August 24 through September 9

• Community Partners announced in mid-September

How will WFM TMs be involved in 2020?

We will work hard to make sure that our stores and TMs are involved, supportive, and engaged – to the extent that you can be. When partners apply, we’ll ask them to let us know if they are still in touch with the Team Member who previously nominated them. If not, we’ll reach out to the store so that partners and Team Members can reconnect. We want keep local connections strong!  Team Members are welcome to volunteer with their partner this year in any way that safely meets the goals of the partner and the capacity of the Team Member. As always, Team Member engagement is optional.

What if I want to nominate a community partner in 2020?

If TMs are looking to nominate a community partner that is not a previous CFG partner, they should connect with their community giving network point person. The organization should also apply for support via the WFM portal at https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company-info/donate.

Can individual Team Members receive funding from Whole Cities Foundation?

No. We do not award grants to individuals.

What is the plan for the 2021 CFG Program?

We are constantly evaluating the current climate for Team Members and community partners. We hope to return to the regular process for TM nominations next year, but we will announce any updates or changes closer to April 2021.

What if I have feedback about the CFG Program?

We LOVE to hear from Team Members! Please send any feedback, questions or thoughts to Chanta.Williams@wholefoods.com and Nikki.Newman@wholefoods.com

 

 

Meet the Community First Grant Team Members and Partners

2019 Community First Grant Team Members & Community Partners 

2018 Community First Grant Team Members & Community Partners

See examples of partnerships here. 

 


2019 Community First Grant Team Members & Community Partners

 

Click on a Team Member name to see their profile poster! 

 

Florida Region:


Dolly Fields
Tallahassee Store (Tallahassee, FL)
Community First Grant Recipient: Red Hills Small Farm Alliance

Jimmy Jaime
South Beach Store (Miami, FL)
Community First Grant Recipient: Health in the Hood

Lauren O’Mara
Bayhill Store (Orlando, FL)
Community First Grant Recipient: Hebni Nutrition Consultants
 

Global Support:


Amy Bell
Austin, TX
Community First Grant Recipient: Multicultural Refugee Coalition

Anthony Pavich
Austin, TX
Community First Grant Recipient: YMCA of Austin – East Communities Branch

Raj Roy
Austin, TX
Community First Grant Recipient: Mobile Loaves and Fishes
 

Mid-Atlantic Region:


Belinda Croft
Louisville Store (Louisville, KY)
Community First Grant Recipient: New Roots, Inc.

Carol Shapcott
Mid-Atlantic Regional Support Office (Marlton, NJ)
Community First Grant Recipient: Virtua Mobile Farmers Market

Catherine Kiely
Lexington Store (Louisville, KY)
Community First Grant Recipient: Seedleaf

Ryan Curran
Philly Center City Store (Philadelphia, PA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Methodist Services’ Heritage Farm

Sharon Ettinger
Allentown Store (Allentown, PA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley

Tara Pastuszek
South Street Store (Philadelphia, PA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Urban Tree Connection
 

Midwest Region:


Edward Whittington
Galleria Store (Saint Louis, MO)
Community First Grant Recipient: Community Garden of Hope Hill

Julie Wainwright
Midtown Detroit Store (Detroit, MI)
Community First Grant Recipient: Keep Growing Detroit

Rachel VanHoose
Sauganash Store (Chicago, IL)
Community First Grant Recipient: YWCA North Shore/Evanston
 

North Atlantic Region:


Annie Laurie
North Atlantic Regional Support Office (Marlborough, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: The Roudenbush Community Center, Inc.

Deborah Tamborella
Hingham Store (Hingham, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Friends of Holly Hill Farm

Dee Dee Pumphrey
Charlestown Store (Charlestown, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Eastie Farm

Eric Wickenheisser
Hadley Store (Hadley, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Roots Rising

Erika Mercieri
Glastonbury Store (Glastonbury, CT)
Community First Grant Recipient: KNOX

Geoff Gardner
North Atlantic Regional Support Office (Marlborough, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Community Servings

Holly Aker
Portland Store (Portland, ME)
Community First Grant Recipient: Cultivating Community

Justin Roias
University Heights Store (Providence, RI)
Community First Grant Recipient: Smith Hill Community Development Corporation

Martha Marcucci
Hingham Store (Hingham, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Weymouth Food Pantry

Rick Garvey
Westford Store (Westford, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell

Tom Neal
Glastonbury Store (Glastonbury, CT)
Community First Grant Recipient: Charter Oak Cultural Center
 

Northeast Region:


Agnes Kerley
Albany Store (Albany, NY)
Community First Grant Recipient: Capital Roots

Maryann Young
Brooklyn Store (New York, NY)
Community First Grant Recipients: Isabahlia Ladies of Elegance Foundation, Inc.Ocean Bay Community Development CorporationWE STAY/Nos Quedamos, Inc.Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice (YMPJ)


Northern California Region:


Erick Bueno
Alameda Store (San Jose, CA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Veggielution Community Farm

Beth Plevy Wyland
Northern California Regional Support Office (Emeryville, CA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Homeless Garden Project

Jess Moreles
Palo Alto Store (Palo Alto, CA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Valley Verde

Roland Freiberg
San Ramon Store (San Ramon, CA)
Community First Grant Program Recipient: Spectrum Community Services, Inc.
 

Pacific Northwest Region:


Cody Potter
Laurelhurst Store (Portland, OR)
Community First Grant Program Recipient: Quest Center for Integrative Health

Grant Daisley
Pacific Northwest Regional Support Office (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Community First Grant Program Recipient: Public Health Association of BC

Hannah Colwell
Pacific Northwest Regional Support Office (Seattle, WA)
Community First Grant Program Recipients: High Desert Food and Farm AllianceCommon Threads Farm and Farmer Frog

Leah Abell
Pacific Northwest Regional Support Office (Seattle, WA)
Community First Grant Program Recipients: Pike Place Market FoundationSolid Ground and Viva Farms

Shawn Gross
Pacific Northwest Regional Support Office (Portland, OR)
Community First Grant Program Recipient: Mercy Corp
 

Rocky Mountain Region:


Alison Goodhart
Union Station Store (Denver, CO)
Community First Grant Program Recipient: Hunger Free Colorado and Same Café

Ian Millman
Cerrillos Store (Santa Fe, NM)
Community First Grant Program Recipient: Reunity Resources

Heather Griffith
Trolley Square and Cottonwood Heights Stores (Salt Lake City, UT)
Community First Grant Recipient: Wasatch Community Gardens

Josh Coyle
Rocky Mountain Regional Support Office (Denver, CO)
Community First Grant Recipient: LiveWell Colorado

Melanie McCormick
Kansas City Store (Kansas City, MO)
Community First Grant Recipient: Cultivate Kansas City

Tianna Aliota
Fort Collins Store (Fort Collins, CO)
Community First Grant Recipient: Larimer County Farmers Alliance
 

South Region:


Chelsea Thornhill
Wilmington Store (Wilmington, NC)
Community First Grant Recipient: Community Enrichment Initiatives, Inc.

Erwin (Scott) Davenport
Cary Store (Cary, NC)
Community First Grant Recipient: Inter-Faith Food Shuttle

Lexi Adams
Poplar Avenue Store (Memphis, TN)
Community First Grant Recipient: Landmark Training and Development

Madison Franklin
Chattanooga Store (Chattanooga, TN)
Community First Grant Recipient: Crabtree Farms

Matthew Bagby
Sandy Springs Store (Atlanta, GA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Truly Living Well


Southern Pacific Region:


Gabrielle Thomas
Las Vegas Blvd (Las Vegas, NV)
Community First Grant Recipient: Together We Can (Vegas Roots)
 


Southwest Region:


Charlotte Hall
Bowman Store (Little Rock, AR)
Community First Grant Recipient: Dunbar Garden

Quierra Coleman
Shreveport Store (Shreveport, LA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Shreveport Green

Steffany Villalobos
Southwest Regional Support Office (Fort Worth, TX)
Community First Grant Recipient: Bonton Farms

 


Related Blog Posts

  • What Difference Can $5,000 Make in Your Community?

    We believe that homegrown initiatives have the best chance of creating lasting change.

    Read More

  • How One Grant Led to Three Sources of Funding

    Most would think it’s impossible to grow kale, lettuce, and turnips in the dry Nevada heat, yet community-based nonprofit organization, Vegas Roots, is leading the way.

    Read More